Effectiveness trumps efficiency. To borrow the phrase from Peter Drucker, “efficiency is doing things right and effectiveness is doing the right things.” The ideal case is when you’re doing the right things right, but if you have to make a compromise, always do the right things, no matter how inefficient you might be at doing them.
The right things in your business are your High Value Activities (HVAs). Your HVAs are the activities that either generate revenue directly or indirectly enable you to generate revenue. For instance, if you’re a web designer, designing and coding websites is an HVA that generates revenue directly and showcasing your designs in a portfolio is an HVA that indirectly enables you to generate revenue because it’s a marketing activity.
The more of your HVAs you do, the more effective you are, and the more effective you are at delivering to your clients and bringing them in, the more money you make.
Unfortunately, many of the activities we do during our workdays aren’t HVAs. As contrarian as this may sound, spending a lot of time on social media isn’t an HVA unless you’re a social media expert. Checking email to correspond with clients could be, but doing it to the exclusion to the work that you’re being paid to deliver isn’t.
One of the best things you can do for your business is to replace the activities that aren’t high-yield with HVAs. Think about your activities as you would an investment: your TEA (Time, Energy, and Attention) is what you pay, and the return is what the activity does for your business. The more of your TEA you invest in HVAs, the more return you get for your investment.
- Do an audit of your business activities to determine what your High Value Activities are. If you’re not sure, ask yourself how the activity relates to cashflow, opportunity, or visibility.
- Plan on doing at least one HVA per day.
- Business development activities are HVAs that generally have a very high yield. Try to do something every week that expands your capability to deliver solutions.